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Karbonator Beads: A Sparkling Innovation

September 29, 2015

Our new Keurig® KOLD™ drinkmaker allows people to experience beloved sparkling beverages and new discoveries in the comfort of their home, fresh-made without the hassle of a CO2 canister. One of the highlights of this new product is the Karbonator™ beads, which were specifically designed by our innovation team to provide carbonation for sparkling beverages. After working on this for years with our team, Tom Novak, SVP, Beverage R&D and Regulatory Affairs, sat down with us to share details about this unique carbonation process:  

 Since the Keurig® KOLD™ drinkmaker doesn’t use a CO2 canister, how does it carbonate a beverage?
While I’d like to say it’s all magic, the carbonation in our KOLD™ system comes from our innovative Karbonator™ beads. They’re what add fizz to your favorite beverages. With our system, when you press the KOLD™ button, a small amount of water is sent into the top half of the KOLD™ pod. This moistens the Karbonator™ beads, which prompts them to release the CO2 they’re holding.  This CO2 floats up and travels to the KOLD™ chiller, carbonating the chilling water, while the Karbonator™ beads stay in the pod.

 I’ve never heard of Karbonator™ beads before. What are they? 
Karbonator™ beads are actually minerals we manufacture. They have tiny porous spaces, like a sponge you would find in your kitchen. We fill those spaces with carbon dioxide and then pack the beads into KOLD™ pods to deliver all the fizz to sparkling beverages made with our KOLD™ drinkmaker without the fuss of a CO2 canister.

 Has anybody done this before in a beverage or food product?
We’re the first! Karbonator™ beads are a beverage innovation that my team is very excited about. We designed and manufacture Karbonator™ beads to be used exclusively in Keurig® KOLD™ pods and the Keurig® KOLD™ drinkmaker. Our goal was to make a cold drinkmaking system that allows people to create their favorite fresh-made sparkling beverages at home, without the hassle of having to refill a CO2 canister.

 Sounds like there’s a lot of science behind these tiny beads. So I have to ask: are they safe?
Rest assured, our Karbonator™ beads meet safety requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in our KOLD™ system.  Like with any household product, it’s important to follow product instructions and the safety information we provide. 

 When I make a drink, will I consume Karbonator™ beads?
No, Karbonator™ beads stay inside the KOLD™ pod chamber and are not consumed. 

 Can Karbonator™ beads be recycled or reused?
No, Karbonator™ beads are meant for one-time use and are not recyclable. We are currently evaluating whether they are beneficial to composting, but as of now, we recommend after use you dispose of your KOLD™ pod in your household trash. If your community is one of the select communities that accepts items labeled “#7 – OTHER “for recycling, we encourage you to recycle your used KOLD™ pods – however you should dispose of the foil like filter paper, and the Karbonator™ beads in the trash first. If the KOLD™ pod has not been used, the Karbonator beads should be left inside the sealed chamber and the entire pod can be disposed of in the trash.

 What do you believe is the most interesting aspect of Karbonator™ beads and their role in the new KOLD™ system?
The most exciting thing about Karbonator™ beads is the convenience they provide. By eliminating the need for a CO2 canister, KOLD™ users have an innovative way to create their favorite sparkling beverages any time at home. You never have to worry about refilling a CO2 canister before your guests come over- simply push a button. The KOLD™ system gives you the freedom to have fresh-made beverages at your fingertips, both sparkling and still.


Watch the video in the banner to see just how the KOLD™ carbonation process works.



Tags: Innovation